The "boy playing with matches" theory seems too incredible to be true and the American public might not believe that story. In fact, I am waiting for the U.S. authorities to take back or correct the press statement because it might have been very funny if not for the immensity of the destruction wrought by the fire. Actually, what this news report calls to mind is the Glorietta "Bombing or Gas Leak?" incident a couple of weeks ago wherein our own police authorities gave conflicting reports and theories on what really caused the explosion with Senator Trillanes even putting forth his "Oplan Greenbase all-over-again" theory. In this day and age, there is too much information available that it confuses most people. Eventually, one believes what one wants to believe.
As a footnote to the recently-concluded barangay elections, I had this truly hilarious conversation with a man who won as kagawad in our barangay. While buying a pack of Marlboro Lights in our local tiangge store, I chanced upon our neighborhood tambays celebrating the "surprise" victory of their fellow tambay as Barangay Kagawad. They were quite loud, sincerely happy that one of their own is now holding the "reins of power" in the barangay and I can see that their group had already consumed at least one case of Red Horse beer. Their group was noisily discussing what they will do with the reported P3,000 allowance that a kagawad reportedly receives every month. A humble, jobless old man, the kagawad-elect (naks) would just nod to acknowledge all of his friends' wacky suggestions. When I asked him seriously (but only half-seriously) what he plans to do with his first salary, he replied (seriously) "mapahimo ko pustiso." (translation: "i'll go get a set of dentures.") I almost swallowed my cigarette.